"Local dentist uses a hand-held scanner rather than a scraper to detect cavities!"
By Michael J. Arvizu
Burbank Leader Magazine
Going to the dentist can be a trying experience for some, especially when it comes to cavity detection, fillings and root canals.
But newer technology is changing all that, allowing dentists to provide less-invasive procedures that cause less pain.
One such new technology is DIAGNOdent, a hand-held, portable unit designed to scan a patient’s tooth for cavities without the need to scrape the tooth. The tool is about as big as a large Sharpie and contains an LCD display. The tool measures the density of tooth enamel by comparing healthy tooth material with that of much softer tooth material inherent in cavities.
DIAGNOdent is offered at Pacific Dental Care, the office of Burbank dental resident Mariné Martirosyan, at 532 W. Glenoaks Blvd. in Glendale.
The practice has been in business in Glendale for about 13 years, said office manager Delia Fuentes. DIAGNOdent, short for diagnosis and dental, resembles a dental pick. In place of the pick, however, is a tiny laser diode that is swept across the tooth. A numerical readout tells the dentist or hygienist where a cavity might be. The higher the number on the readout, the greater the possibility that a cavity is there.
“It’s pretty accurate as far as detecting cavities,” Martirosyan said. “These days, the widespread use of fluoride in dental material and waters makes the top layer of the tooth much harder. When the teeth have deep peaks and grooves, it decays underneath the top layer. Sometimes the X-rays are very hard in detecting these initial cavities, or cavities in their early stages.”
For those with cavities in later stages, the tool is just as effective, Martirosyan said.
One of the most important advantages to this tool, she said, is that it is painless. The technology is also an incentive for patients to undergo cavity detection sooner, thus preventing more invasive and potentially painful procedures in the future.
“If they delay the cavity detection and treatment, the next treatment is like a root canal,” Martirosyan said. “It’s also very costly. This way, we can detect cavities in their early stage.”
Preventing cavities overall requires good home care and regular check-ups, she added.
Still, DIAGNOdent allows patients to become more involved in their treatments, “because they understand this better than they understand the X-ray. You hear a loud noise, and see a higher number — that’s the cavity. X-ray, you have to explain [to] them shadows, circles.”
Read the Interview at Burbank Leader Managazine Online
Burbank Leader Magazine
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